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Being born a girl significantly increases the risk of child trafficking, sexual violence and child exploitation. Girls suffer not only physical but emotional harm, and are often forced into the shadows. Other girls are stolen and enslaved by human traffickers, forced to sell their young bodies for sex. These girls’ lives are being utterly destroyed and their dreams shattered.
WHAT IS CHILD TRAFFICKING?
Child trafficking is a crime that exploits girls and boys for numerous purposes including forced labor and sex. Because child trafficking is lucrative and often linked with criminal activity and corruption, it is hard to estimate how many children suffer, but trafficking and exploitation is an increasing risk to children around the world. When human trafficking occurs, children are often trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation or for labor such as domestic servitude, agricultural work, factory work, mining or are forced to fight in conflicts.
FACTS ABOUT CHILD EXPLOITATION
There are 215 million children engaged in child labor, with 115 million of those children in hazardous work. Sometimes sold by a family member or an acquaintance, sometimes lured by false promises of education and a "better" life — the reality is that these trafficked and exploited children are held in slave-like conditions without enough food, shelter, or clothing and often severely abused and cut off from all contact with their families. And many of these victims are girls.
Human trafficking is a crime that exploits children.1
Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking.1
98% of sexual abused survivors are women and children.2
168 million children are victims of forced labor.1
HOW CAN WE END CHILD TRAFFICKING?
Save the Children works to combat child trafficking through prevention, protection, and prosecution. In order to maximize our efforts, we work with communities, local organizations and civil society, and national governments to protect children from being exploited, and to help restore the dignity of children who have survived.
By supporting livelihoods we help families avoid the need to have their children work. By raising awareness of trafficking we reduce the number of children being trafficked. By rehabilitating survivors, we help them rebuild their lives. By protecting unaccompanied refugee children, we keep them from the clutches of traffickers.
HOW YOU CAN HELP FIGHT CHILD TRAFFICKING
Every day, in the U.S. and around the world, our dedicated teams are doing whatever it takes to save every last child. In addition to the programs outlined above, woven through all of our programs are key elements to fight child trafficking. Our health workers and protection experts provide care for girls who have survived abuse at the hands of their traffickers. Our educators and emergency responders keep children safe and protected from dangerous situations. What’s more, we help parents and teens build skills so they can better provide for their families without resorting to child labor – and have alternatives after they’ve escaped a life of exploitation.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP